Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012-The year of happy.

I'm not making a list of new year's resolutions this revolution. I didn't keep my resolutions last year or probably the year before so there's really no point.

Instead I have decided to declare 2012 my year of happiness. The whole year!!!!

I've got a pretty good idea of what makes me happy and I'm going to dedicate the next year to implementing these things.

I realise it might come across as a bit self indulgent, but I know that when I am happy I am a better wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, its also kinda not self indulgent at all.

I'm using My happiness recipe that I wrote while we were away as a starting point.
Love where you live.
Shake up the routine.
Love the ones you're with.
Remember how lucky you are.
Be brave and change.
You can do it.
Be more social.
Indulge once in a while.
Get active.
Eat well and drink lots of water.

Also not on that list are be creative, grow lots of stuff, read books, get outside as often as you can, beware of clutter, stop talking and start doing and remember that you are not responsible for other people's grumpiness.

It's an ongoing work in progress. I know I'm going to have to check in with this list and in with myself often but it feels doable this year.

So lovely peeps, a big cheers to a wonderful and super-dooper happy 2012.
Thank you for sharing this great adventure with me and my gang and here's to many, many more.

Lotsa love,
Kate xx

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pretty spots.

Strange old day. Unsettled feeling in my tummy. Can't seem to stick to a task. Feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending kid's craft area declutter. Missing my boy and my big girl who have been in Melbourne since yesterday. Can't think of what to make for dinner.

So I'm focusing on the smaller details. The details of my day today. There's so much to love when you look at the small stuff. It goes along with my theory that home magazines barely ever show you the entire room, they focus on pretty spots.

So here are some pretty spots that I'm loving from my day today;

I'm loving my wool basket and my growing pile of grannies.
I'm loving my little jug collection on the windowsill in the kitchen.
I'm loving capturing little moments in time on instagram.
I'm loving baking bread.
I'm loving that no TV or movies during the week make us be more creative, read more, play more and be less lazy.
I'm loving reading all about baking bread in River Cottage Handbook No.3 Bread by Daniel Stevens.
I'm loving that my girls are big enough to be great company for brunch out at Breakfast and Beer.
I'm loving playing the records of my childhood.
I'm loving the spontaneous dancing in the lounge room.
I'm loving it when the girls get lost in a game that goes on and on and on.
I'm loving the sunshine drying my washing.
I'm completely overwhelmed by Pip's post. Wow! And I'm in such ridiculously ace company.
I'm loving the kitchen garden.
I'm loving blue things.
I'm loving the hula hoop craze.
I'm loving fetta and rocket on everything for every meal.
I'm loving the thought of Emily coming to visit early in the new year.
I'm loving pretty pyrex.
I'm loving the lighter feeling I get every time I come back from dumping a load in the op/shop pile.
I'm looking forward to cider-o'clock.
I'm loving that my farmer boy and my big girl will be back before bed time.

Ahhhhhh that's better.

I hope there are just so many pretty spots in your day today too. Care to share a few?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


A sunny afternoon.
A ride on the back of the ute.
The front paddock.
A bunch of friends and sisters.
Some bush poles, some baling twine and some rope.
A pile of old sheets.
An old blanket or two.
A tee-pee.
A loaf of bread fresh out of the oven.
Jars of homemade blackberry jam, Vegemite and hummus.
The tin of cookies we made and iced two days ago.
Colourful tin glasses of cold water.
A game of Sleeping Beauty, some mud balls and a bit of relaxing.
A bit of crochet.
All the while keeping watch on Buster and making sure that he didn't bust out.

Bye. xx

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quilt top!

One week after we arrived back home I decided I couldn't ignore the neatly packaged up, freshly serviced, sewing machine near the front door any longer.

One week after we arrived back home I was folding some fabric in my sewing room when I was struck by a sudden and very powerful urge to make a quilt.

I think at this stage in time I should tell you that I have never before made a quilt. I have possibly even made a little joke once or twice at the expense of my cutting up fabric and sewing it back together friends (sorry). I had always thought I might be irritated at the fussiness of quilting. That the exactness might not suit my personality. That quarter inch seams and self healing mats might belong to a culture I would never be a part of.

But like I said, the urge struck and who was I to ignore it.

So I gathered up some vintage sheets.
I measured them and cut some strips.
Then I dealt with an incident with Miss Pepper and the rotary cutter and some blood (lesson learned).
And I pinned and sewed the bits of fabric back together.
And then I cut them up again.

And then I got up on a chair and off the chair and on the chair and off the chair to fiddle with the design.

And then I sewed it all together and pressed the seams.

And ta-da!!! A quilt top!!

The wonderful and incredibly beginner friendly pattern is Kate's. I think the hardest part of the entire process was trying to take a picture without the wind blowing it up and around.

I'm a bit excited. And I can hardly wait until midday tomorrow when Merrilyn's shop opens and I can buy some wadding stuff.


In the meantime, as I wait, I'm rummaging through my scraps drawer and googling beginner quilt patterns and dreaming about my next project. I think I'm hooked.

Merry, merry.


Friday, December 23, 2011

My top ten tips for settling back home beautifully.

One: Hit the home ground with a plan. Get focused and keep busy. Declutter, paint, plant a garden, organise your photos into ibooks or slide shows...

Two: Make your home beautiful. Fill jars with flowers, open the windows and let the sunny air in, play your favourite tunes, make your bed, pop your holiday souvenirs around the house....

Three: Do something you love every day. Bake, crochet, dance, write, draw...

Four: Don't force yourself to settle back into old, busy routines too quickly. Have some quiet time in the afternoon, take a Nana nap, snuggle up with a book and a cuppa, challenge your kids to a board game, take a blanket outside and read a book on the grass...

Five: Be active. Go for a walk every day, dance around your lounge room, jump on the trampoline, go for a bike ride, skip rope...

Six: Keep it fun. Eat pancakes for dinner, read aloud to each other, give each other manicures, have a party...

Seven: Change things around a bit. Move the furniture. Change the focus of the room. Be brave.

Eight: Make new rules. No TV during the week, kids set and clear the table for meals, chores, family Friday fun nights (thanks for the idea Rapps xx)...

Nine: Eat well. Plan meals, buy lovely seasonal ingredients, pick from your garden, try new recipes, get everyone involved in the prep, set the table with your best and fanciest stuff, light candles, eat together.

Ten: Be a tourist where you live. Explore the local area, go for long walks, visit the shops/farm-gates/wineries/restaurants/lakes/attractions, go on a picnic, row the lake...

And if all else fails, fake it til you make it. Pretend you are enjoying yourself and then you probably will.

This list is by no means law. It's just what's working for me at the moment three days after coming home. I was a little worried about how I would feel when the holiday was over. I was worried we would come home and I would be sad. I can be quite emotional like that. But I haven't. In fact I'm having a lovely time at home. So I thought I'd share my list here. Partly to remind myself and partly because it might possibly be of use to you when you get back from your adventures.

Happy travels - happy homes - happy Hannukah - happy Christmas - happy weekend. xx

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Things I am liking @ home.

(pics; our garlic, our bed, our kitchen table, our 80 Mile Beach-shell mobile, our raspberries).

Freshly Miss Jazzy cut flowers on the kitchen table.
Showering without thongs.
Our own farm produce.
Hot running water at the sink.
Our own eggs.
Not bumping into each other all the time.
Sunlight streaming in through clean windows (thanks R xx).
The dishwasher.
Not having to hunt for four one dollar coins whenever I want to do the laundry.
Walking around nudie-rudie.
Not going anywhere.
Berry picking every day.
Our own bed.
How happy the girls are with their classes and teachers for next year.
Music we never got a chance to upload to the ipods.
Walking the farm.
Our things.
The compost bucket.
How calm and content the girls seem to be.
Reading Pippi Longstocking together every night.
The space we are starting to feel on day three of the great declutter.
The quiet nights without TV.
Walking in the bush.
Meal planning.
Using the bits of crockery we bought on the trip.
Looking forward to Friday night-family movie night.
That feeling you get when you chuck out ten years of odd socks.
Rediscovering old favourites.

I'm hoping your home is a wonderful place to be right now.

Bye! xx

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Artful Blogging.

If I am to be totally honest with you and with myself, I am terrified of reverting back to the Kate I was six months ago. The Kate who lived here before our adventure. That Kate was happy but I think she was tired. She found it easier to keep doing the same things in the same way rather than making changes. The thought of painting walls or building things or putting new rules in place just seemed too hard on top of everything else she felt she had to do.

One of the biggest gifts from our trip is my new sense of who I am, what I want and what I like. I feel a bit like I did before I had kids. Like I have remembered me. I've come home with a vision for how I want this place to look and how I want us to live. We spent hours and hours discussing all our homecoming plans while we were still away and now it's time to start making changes. Straight away.

We came home with some definites that are keeping us on track; no TV or movies during the week, no microwave, a walk a day, as much outside time as possible and no being a taxi driver between kid activities until next week.

And then there's the decluttering (day two and we have filled the back of my car for the op shop and a skip is arriving later tonight for rubbish), the redecorating, the plans for outside and the farm plans.

I feel such an urgent hurry to get things done and put in place just in case the old Kate returns and I lose my motivation.

And while we were away the latest issue of Artful Blogging came out with my article and photos in it. It is such a beautiful magazine and I am thrilled to be part of it.

I wrote an article about a dress I once made out of bits and bobs sent to me from bloggers from all over the world. A zip from here, a doily from there...after I finished sewing the dress I packed it up and sent it to Miss Deb who then gave it to a little girl who had lost everything in the New Zealand earthquake.

Unfortunately for us Aussies,  I think Artful Blogging is only available in America. Actually, when I asked Jennifer, the Assistant Senior Managing Editor, she thought I was the only Australian blogger they had ever featured. Just a little bit exciting I think.

I hope wherever you are that you are happy and motivated.
Bye now. xx

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home again, home again...

We are home.

Honestly I still don't know how I feel about it all. One minute I am excited and enthusiastic, the next I am flat and overwhelmed.

The girls rushed in and spent hours rummaging through their things. Playing, reading, trying on and making. I love how their special things are triggering special memories and stories. I love how they sing as they explore.

And we have moved from space to space also. Cleaning, browsing, unpacking, sorting.

Our main aim right now is to declutter. To clear some space. After six months in a caravan we are overwhelmed by how much stuff we have at home. We have placed boxes in the middle of every room and are slowly filling them up with things. Books we wont read again, clothes we never wear, toys we have outgrown. The girls are really excited by the sorting too. We are being ruthless. I feel the need to rush this process before the old hoarder Kate creeps back in and changes her mind.

And in the middle of it all, when it all got a bit overwhelming, we went off for a walk. We walked around the farm and said hello to the animals and picked raspberries, strawberries, currants and gooseberries. I remembered how much I love living on a farm. How alive I feel here. How incredible home grown, freshly picked produce tastes. How walking around this place is the best medicine for an overwhelmed head.

And I washed and dried all our favourite linen so we have snuggly beds to look forward to. I must say I am just a bit excited about sleeping in our own bed.

Thank you all so much for traveling along with us. It has been wonderful to be able to share this adventure and have your feedback, suggestions, stories and advice along the way.

I'm off now to make us pancakes with berries for dinner. I've washed a pile of Johnson plates we thrifted on the trip to use for the special homecoming dinner.

Have fun out there. x

Monday, December 19, 2011

The blanket/The winner

Project deets:

Name - Roads & places blanket.
Pattern - Bulls-Eye by Brittany Tyler.
Craft - crochet.
Hook - 3.5m
Yarn - Lots of colourful bits of 8ply wool. Some bought especially for this project and lots of scrappy ends too. Actually, this is a great project for using up all those tiny balls of yarn at the bottom of your basket.
Started - In Busselton WA on November 7 2011.
Finished - On the Nullarbor. Somewhere between WA and SA on December 11 2011.
Squares - I stopped at 20 because I ran out of charcoal yarn.
Border - I crocheted the red border as we crossed the border. I only had enough red yarn for one row of the edge but I would have preferred at least two.
Blocking - Nope!
Made for - Snuggling in and picnicking on and hiding under.
SeeMy Ravelry project page for more photos and details.

I'm so happy with how this blanket turned out. I almost can't believe I really finished it. Completely. All the squares are sewn together and all ends are sewn in. Done!

I really love the look of it laid out flat so you can see all the circles properly and also all scrunched up and messy like. I even like it all folded up in the back of the car ready to drive home. It's filled with road trip stories and memories. I'm so happy I made it and we'll have it as to remind us.

And the Make Hey! giveaway winner...
Thank you all for your entertaining comments. I just loved reading through them.
I asked Miss Pip, the very clever author, for a number between 1 and 114 and she gave me number 82.
Comment number 82 is The Jade Leaf!!!!!!
Congratulations Jade, I know you are going to love this book.

I hope your last full week of 2011 is such a happy one.
And I got the days mixed up and we are really heading home tomorrow. Tomorrow!!!!

Happy travels.
See you soon. xx

Visit my other blog.